Reminiscent of the Week Before College Finals

It’s kind of a lull before a storm. Monday is the bus to Bangkok, yesterday and today are rest days I earned by planning ahead. Packing is all that’s left to do.

During my last 2 years of college, when 1 goal was a GPA that wouldn’t exclude me from the grad school of my choice, I studied my ass off. So much that about the time when friends were starting their finals push I’d leave town for a few days to go play. Trip preparation hasn’t always been like this.

Before this trip and the Adriatic one, I prioritized my pre-trip prep list differently and was brutal about it. The categories are: 1 = Essential, 2 = Less Pain, 3 = Better Quality of Life, 4 = Nice. ‘Essential’ became the smallest list as there aren’t many things one must have to cross borders: passport, transport, sufficient cash or account balance (with plastic that works). How brutal? Things like health insurance and a re-entry permit (to keep my visa valid) were moved to category 2.

The new priorities made assigning due dates easier. Better still, it made deleting items easier. Removing items which have taken too much time for little benefit, or I’ve learned to do them in country rather than before hand shrunk the list. My trip prep lists, called ‘countdowns’, are spreadsheets. I’ve kept all the past versions. Had you expected something else from a former computer programmer? Some time it will be fun to compare the trip prep lists from the beginning of this expat journey to the present. But that’s almost like work, so I’ll save it for another day.

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